A 21-year-old woman has posed allegations of sexual assault and gangrape against the ex-Andaman and Nicobar Islands chief secretary, Jitendra Narain, and Labour Commissioner RL Rishi.
It has been claimed that over 20 women were allegedly taken to Narain’s residence in Port Blair during his tenure, some of whom are said to have gotten jobs in lieu of being sexually assaulted.
The woman, in her complaint, had said that she was introduced to Rishi via a hotel owner when she was searching for a job. She alleged that the commissioner took her to the residence of the Chief Secretary where she was offered alcohol but she declined and was then assured government employment.
Subsequently, she alleged, she was brutally and sexually abused by the two men. The woman added that the assault was repeated two weeks later and instead of the job, she was threatened to not disclose the attack to anyone.
However, Narain has denied the charges in letters to the Home Ministry and A&N administration, calling it a “conspiracy” against him and claiming that he has “specific materials which demonstrate the fake nature of the case”.
After the day of allegations, Narain was suspended on orders of the Home Ministry on October 17 and got interim bail until November 14. Rishi has also been suspended and non-bailable warrants have been issued in his name after his bail plea was rejected in Port Blair.
Narain also challenged his presence in Port Blair on one of the two dates given in the FIR and cited air tickets and appointment schedules to show his presence in New Delhi.
However, in the counter of the above statement, the woman’s family reportedly told the police that there was a mix-up in the dates provided by her and their testimonies have cleared the air.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe has been setup which have found evidence of an alleged “job-for-sex” racket.
Testimonies from key witnesses, including the Chief Secretary’s staff, have revealed that women were escorted to his house.
In fact, one of them has reportedly told the SIT formed to probe the racket that he would be instructed to “pick up the women,” often pick up food from a local restaurant, serve it at the Chief Secretary’s house and later be asked to drop the women off at a pre-destined place.
Narain was scheduled to appear before the SIT on Friday, 28 October, which had been set by the Calcutta High Court as the deadline for his appearance.
Meanwhile, the woman’s family said they were planning to move the Supreme Court for cancellation of the former Chief Secretary’s interim bail, granted by the Calcutta High Court.